Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FEAST (07/12/18)
TITLE: Ronnie's Quagmire
By Mike Hill
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Ronnies life had just ceased to exist. Ignorant to all that had conspired, he couldnt yet comprehend the full damage, but he was sure his family was gone, his career was gone, and possibly even his salvation.
Utterly too soon to cultivate hope. It seemed somehow silly to wish this nightmare would just end. Hopeful though, somehow the bureaucracy might rouse itself and spontaneously detect the massive mistake that had just been made.
A seeming eternity transpired. Yet, just five days ago Ronnie had been flung into an intake cell, amidst other fresh meat. Fresh meat destined to feed the voracious insolence of the system. He could not sleep. His thoughts ran deep, and his mind had shorted out and fallen into a bottomless pit of distraction.
That day had been a dark, cruel, hellish day - the first of many dark, cruel, hellish days he knew would come. Distraught, hed eaten little since then, and in spite of a gnawing emptiness, he avoided nourishment Whats the use? His days rambled between despair, apathy, crying, and watching TV.
His cell was sparsely appointed barely more than a bunk and a toilet. But there on a shelf, in the far corner, Ronnie noticed a book laying on its side. He walked the two steps to the shelf and retrieved the book. His troubles were paramount on his mind and did not regard the book until it slipped from his grasp. It was then that he noticed it was a Bible.
Sheepishly he picked the Bible up off the floor, optimistic that it had fallen open to the perfect verse as an answer to his troubles. He noted that it had not, and annoyed, he tossed it onto the bunk, where it fell open to Luke 15. Inquisitive, he picked the book up and barely focusing, he started reading. When he read verse 11, he dropped it again. Luke 15:11 is the start of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Anxiety was pouring out of his pores, he was so shaken. The verse came in loud and direct it penetrated his psyche. But what was it trying to convey to him? Was he to find solace within the parables wisdom? What was the truth within? He knew there is a world of difference between lives that are built from truths and those that are produced from lies. All he could think about was that if there is no truth, there is no knowledge, just a variety of opinions. His world was Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and more Ambiguous than ever. He definitely lived in VUCA times. Yet, he knew that fifty shades of VUCA should not order his life.
As the son, he knew he was overcome by sin, caving-in to his primal desires. He thought, Ive sinned so gravely I can never be accepted by my family as before.
The sons fears kept him from returning home. But, Ronnie read on - the father was never angry with the son. He only hoped for his sons return. Finally, when the son was buried deep in a pile of despair, he thought of the love of his father and knew he had to return home.
He read on. What was the fathers response? Yes, he ran out to greet his son, embraced him, kissed his neck and forgave him. Yet, the full response was to tell the servants and the rest of the family. Lets have a feast and celebrate! It was about the feast. He reasoned that it was trying to inspire him to ask himself Can I believe this? Can I believe in unconditional love, love which does not demand payment, love which exists even when there is no apology? The feast was proof.
Ronnie slumps down on his bunk. With a renewed outlook, he decides, "Yes, life is not fair, and this confinement is indeed not reasonable, but I will make the best of it. For God's Glory, I will shed my coat of many colors! I choose to spend my time, not by being distracted by hundreds of glaring headlines, but by focusing on Gods work. Life is not centered on my happiness life is when we go through the doors and into the mission field and share the feast!
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